Mobile technology should not be about cramming the office into your pocket but a way to enjoy your everyday life.
OnePlus 7 Pro main camera problem
With the OnePlus 7 Pro being my third phone by this brand I'm obviously a happy OnePlus customer. Considering how many camera equipped phones I have had over the years and how delicate and small these cameras are, it's almost surprising I haven't run into any problems before. But now I did. The main camera kept producing blurry spots in the image starting from the first photos I took.
The problem seems like a lens or sensor defect that causes ghosting at 45 degrees. I took a few test photos and included two here with parts of the images enlarged.
Overall the images are sharp all over with the exception of a small area in the lover right (lover left if in landscape mode). In that area the image looks unsharp - motion blur like as if the camera has been unsteady. In examples with high contrast such as text on a one colored surface the unsharpness looks like ghosting. Interestingly enough, the extreme corner further out is again sharp - this is not simply a lens being unsharp towards the edge but unsharp in a specific spot or area.
The other two cameras, the wide angel and the tele lens, show no such defects.
First example: a brick wall. The image is sharp all over with the exception of the problematic area now in the lover left because of the landscape mode. The photo was taken against a flat surface shot with good light with a shutter speed of 1/300. The original image can be seen at https://flic.kr/p/2gzUcPX .
Second example: door sign. Unsharpness/ghosting can be seen on the letters to the lover left. Enlarged are two "S" letters showing the difference between the problematic area and the right side. The unsharpness is visible at all parts of the left S except the upper left part and lover right part where the black edges of the letter is at 45 degrees - obviously the angel of the ghosting/bleeding causing it to be hidden by the black of the letter. This is like doing a simple drop shadow in PhotoShop by moving the text a few pixels up and a few pixels to the side, causing the shadow not to show under the text where the lines in the letters are at 45 degrees. The photo was taken against a flat surface shot with good light with a shutter speed of 1/1200. The original image can be seen at https://flic.kr/p/2gzUc1s .
This result is far from the excellent image quality that the 7 Pro has displayed in tests putting it among the very best mobile phone cameras in 2019 and at the third spot in the DxOMark comparison at the time of writing with an impressive score of 111 points. This phone is going back for warranty service tomorrow and hopefully they will be able to fix the problem. I am, however, disappointed that this unit slipped trough the factory's quality assurance to begin with.
The warranty service did not go quite as expected. I brought the phone in personally to the OnePlus service centre and at first they asked me to wait while they flash a new firmware. When that had no effect, they tried long and hard to explain to me that unsharpness in part of the image is perfectly normal and unavoidable. All cameras will do this I was told. And also it's an artificial intelligence thing. Two staffers kept coming up with all kinds of excuses and explanations - sometimes contradictory - and kept pushing me to accept the defect.
Only after I several times politely but firmly insisted I would not accept this quality as normal did they agree to swap the camera module. The camera now works as it should without blurry spots (https://flic.kr/p/2gAGfn6).
The service people were polite and ultimately did a good job but I am disappointed at the repeated attempts to explain away a clear defect. A less self confident customer would have walked out with a defect phone.